As the need for respite care is increasing, caregivers can now lift a financial burden


COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)--Governor Henry McMaster proclaimed February 14th "Respite Awareness Day". According to the SC Respite Coalition, the need for respite care is increasing. Now, caregivers and organizing are bringing awareness to what they call a lifeblood for families across the state.

Nachama Haas's family is one of more than 700,000 in SC providing care for a loved one around the clock. She has three children, one of which battles with autism and anxiety.

"Eitan has 40 hrs a week of applied behavior analysis. That's the gold standard for autism care. He also goes to weekly social skills, anxiety therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. That's all in a week," says Haas.

The SC Respite Coalition is honoring caregivers and thanking legislators who made respite funding a recurring item in the state budget. It allows families to hire respite care for their dependent loved ones. Coalition Director Janet Altman says it's also a call to action.

"When a family is giving care to someone month after month, year after year, they're exhausted. Maybe their marriage is facing struggles or financially because of missing work and they're feeling the weight of this, there's nothing that would help them more than for someone to say 'I'll come and stay w him. You take some time for yourself.' That is respite care at its finest," says Altman.

Haas says respite care has been a relief for her family and she can be more present with them.

Altman says the funding is a step closer to the coalition's vision--to bring respite care to families in need across South Carolina. Visit the coalition website to find out if you're eligible.

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